Money & Banking

17,000 RBI staff to go on mass leave today

Our Bureau agencies Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 18, 2015



Around 17,000 employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be on “mass casual leave” on November 19 to demand improvement in pensions and to protest against the Union Government’s move to dilute the central bank’s autonomy.

The strike in the form of mass leave is the first in over six years and threatens to disrupt settlement activities and the bond and foreign-exchange markets.

A walkout staged by RBI employees in 2009 hampered bond trading and agency reports suggest that investors have been informed to be prepared about a similar possible disruption.

However, according to a source, the RBI is trying to ensure that the public is not inconvenienced and will try to run the RTGS facility.

Multiple demands

The United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees, an umbrella organisation of four recognised unions of officers and workmen in the RBI, proposed to go on a day’s mass leave to protest against the Union government’s alleged moves to take away power from the RBI in the name of the draft financial code and legislative reforms and press for a hike in pension to keep up with rising living costs and wage increases.

RBI staff have been seeking a hike in pension as their basic pension once fixed does not increase. Pending for nearly eight years now, the updation of pension was granted to pre-2002 retirees by the RBI central board and was withdrawn by the Government.

In August, the RBI had said it is reviewing compensation and pensions, as it is losing more junior officers than it “should be comfortable with.”

In its annual report, the banking regulator said: “This is why a revamp of the professional challenges we offer our staff is very much needed…A key factor in RBI’s success has been a satisfied staff.”

Samir Ghosh, General Secretary of the All India Reserve Bank Employees’ Association told PTI: “With the proposed mechanism of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the government plans to intervene and themselves decide the monetary policy, which has been the exclusive jurisdiction of RBI so far,” he said.

Further, the Forum termed the government’s intention as curbing the central bank’s activity and intervening into monetary policies.

“The cease-work programme is intended, inter alia, to strongly oppose Government of India's current moves to cripple RBI in the name of the draft financial code and legislative reforms,” the Forum said in a statement recently.

“The Finance Ministry is reportedly giving final shape to shift Government’s debt management functions from RBI to the proposed Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), which will also henceforth function as a depository of government securities (G-Secs), thus taking away from the RBI some vital operations having relevance to the money market as well,” it added.

Published on November 18, 2015
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor